House in Jigozen by Suppose Design Office



Here's a third project from Japanese architects Suppose Design Office: this time a residential project in Jigozen, Japan.


The house is located by the sea in an area prone to natural disasters.


The exterior of the box-like building is clad in wood and punctured by windows in the shape of houses with pitched roofs.


The traditional room spaces of the interior are surrounded by a hallway around the perimeter of the house.


This multi-purpose area functions as a hallway, veranda, extra room or terrace and offers a buffer between the sometimes hostile external environment and the interior rooms.


Sliding, wood and glass partitions can be opened to incorporate the surrounding hallway into the room spaces or closed to offer greater privacy and protection from the elements.


Suppose Design Office also designed the House in Kamakura and House in Sakuragawa in our previous stories.


Photographs are by Toshiyuki Yano.

Here's more information from Suppose Design Office:


House in Jigozen

Built by the sea, this is a house designed for a family of three; a mother, a father and one child. Along with the exhilarating feeling of being by the sea comes the longstanding idea that this spot is prone to damage from natural disasters, especially during Typhoon season.


If we look at the past, there are many examples of damage caused by nature, such as windstorms or flooding. Therefore, it becomes necessary to build a house where you can feel relaxed while also taking into consideration these natural disasters from the very start of planning.


The Line between Interior and Exterior

In this building, the interior and exterior flow together with the existence of what you could call a half-outdoor space. This space creates a gradation from inside to outside.


With a space which is at the same time like a terrace, a veranda, an inside room, and the outdoors, items which normally would be found inside, such as books and paintings, a study or a bath, can actively participate in this middle-ground between interior and exterior.


This space fulfils the role of connecting the outside to the inside. In addition, it serves as a buffer to the various natural phenomena found in the outdoors. It solves the seemingly contrary problems of "protection" and "openness" at the same time.


The construction method I have come up with leaves freedom for many choices while still using wood as the construction material. Generally, wooden construction uses beams and posts, along with counterbraces in order to make a building resistant to earthquakes.


However, here we use a construction method where the posts are like counterbraces and the counterbraces are like posts.


By placing the posts diagonally, we can achieve a simple framework which, while being made of wood, does not stifle openness.


By searching for various spaces, between interior and exterior, between posts and counterbraces, I believe we can arrive at one answer which leads us to the connection of openness and nature found in this very attractive site by the sea.


I believe we may be able to see the future of architecture by looking for the importance in any and all relationships, and searching for what we can find in the space between two things.


building site: Sakuragawa,Itabashi,Tokyo,Japan
principal use: personal house
structure: wooden structure, 2 stories
site area: 174.75
building area: 55.89!(31.98% MAX60%)
total floor area: 111.78!(63.96% MAX160%)
design: suppose design office : Makoto Tanijiri
photographer: Toshiyuki Yano [ Nacasa & Partners Inc ]


More about Suppose Design Office on Dezeen:



House in Sakuragawa


House in Kamakura

Posted on Wednesday June 10th 2009 at 12:09 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Kurvahosigutntag

    Very very clean – again. Not sure how the “natural disasters” figure in the final product? I particularly like the idea of watching someone washing their bottom while someone else is cooking some tasty tempura udon in the kitchen. Bon apetite!

  • mcmlxix

    Not fond of the outterior. The fenestration is gimmicky and the hardscaped yard oppressive and seriously under utilized space, unless the residents are very much into bocce or sunning themselves on cinders.

    The interior is amazing…refined, elegant…spaces within spaces. Hierarchy through materiality.

  • Marco

    Gosh the shape of this windows… it looks like we’re gonna see EVERYTHING made with that stupid shape in the next one year!
    why design is so uniform sometimes?

  • Oddjob

    This is the most ugly facade I could imagine. On this note: good job!

  • yimyim

    wonderful experiment! The internal play of spaces is nice…
    I have no issues with the facade as others do. The project is complete in its attempt and the facade enforces this.
    Actually the only issue I might have is one of ‘noise’, the images are utterly silent -hard to image it ‘alive’.
    Great work.

  • i like it! Imagine curtains in the window held back by a strap at mid-height on each side :) :)

  • Brett

    Wow, these interiors are amazing. I would like to see a diagram illustrating this ‘new’ construction method, though. All they say is that they placed the posts diagonally, but what does that look like?

    I kind of wish the front yard didn’t look like a hostile desert. Even if they just filled it with gravel it’d be a lot nicer

  • Justin Groot

    Designed to feel safe during storms, it’s apt that the weakest part of the building, it’s windows, are shaped like conventional houses (which are weak during storms). In the context of this unconventional house typology, the pitched roof house is foreign. In the context of a storm resistant house, large glass panes are foreign. That’s my take on why the windows are shaped the way they are.

    Is this house storm resistant? If you’ve ever been through a typhoon, you’ll probably say yes straight away. As a child (in Hong Kong), I wasn’t allowed in any room with windows during a typhoon, due to the risk of them blowing in and shattering. This design, as stated in the blurb, allows for people to use spaces during a typhoon, without being in danger.

  • vico

    who would ever even think of having a bathroom wide opened on the kitchen/dinig/living ?
    i agree the interior spaces are quite intersting and well thought, like the idea of a non/multi-functionnal extra space on the first floor and the periperical unmaterialized corridor, all good ideas (and the windows are unexpectedly comfortable)
    but i totally have trouble with the organisation : have a look at the plans… 1 bedroom for 3 persons, an open bathroom in the kitchen at the upper floor of the bathroom… i just dont understand the concept and wonder why the bathroom isnt on the lower floor in the little space left
    would be so much more logical and restauring the privacy
    your opinion ?

  • Salvadore

    I would really like to live in this house. It makes u feel happy. It has the optimist expresion of a modest amish from the future. It just smiles!

  • yrag

    Mmm . . . For my taste, I Suppose Not.